The New York Daily News (as seen on Posting and Toasting) is reporting that the New York Knicks have signed Iowa Energy center Earl Barron to a 10-day contract in the wake of injuries to Eddy Curry and Al Harrington. This is Barron's second NBA stint, having spent parts of three seasons with the Miami Heat. Barron averaged five points and three rebounds a game with Miami, but that translated out into a more respectable 13 points and eight rebounds per 36 minutes. Barron also played for the Hornets' Summer League team before this season.
This year, Barron is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds for the D-League's Iowa Energy, who currently have the best record in the league and have been loaded with talent all year long. Those numbers are slightly misleading, as Barron has been inconsistent at times on both ends of the floor and is shooting under 50 percent from the field (actually 48.9 percent). A fair amount of his shots come either on midrange or long jumpers, and he even attempts the occasional three, of which he has hit 32 percent this season. Still, he can rebound and defend pretty well (at least when interested), and his range will help the Knicks stretch the floor.
While the top pivot option Dwayne Jones was called up earlier today and therefore not around for the Knicks to pick up, Barron is an okay-but-not-great choice. Other options available included Rod Benson, who's currently averaging 14 points and 10 boards a game, but who is more of a post presence and a better shotblocker than Barron; and Rob Kurz, who's averaging 17 points and 10 boards and whose game is similar to Barron's, only he's a much better shooter (50 percent overall, 44 percent from outside).
Still, this is just a 10-day contract, and it's entirely possible that the Knicks will look at several different players this season, similar to last season when Chris Hunter, Mouhamed Sene, Courtney Sims, Joe Crawford and Demetris Nichols all got looks towards the end of the year.